Hey, this is a resource for cats, not Pokemon! Well, yes, that’s true, but it just so happens that Pokemon has an insistence on including many cat-like characters through its history. Each new generation (there have been five thus far) adds a new cat-like Pokemon to the list in some way or another, and a lot of them have some very basic similarities. Here is just a little primer to show you what’s been happening in the world of Pokemon.
The first cat-inspired Pokemon, Meowth was just a simple cat based off the Siamese breed. It found its signature move to be Payday, an attack that allowed it to throw money at opponents. It’s become probably the most popular cat-like Pokemon as the main villains of the anime, Team Rocket, have a Meowth that can talk (something that’s very uncommon in the Pokemon world).
Evolving from Meowth, Persian is another Siamese-like breed, though much larger and much faster. Persian is a Normal-type Pokemon, which is pretty common for a lot of Pokemon based off household pets. Still, the ability to learn a number of strong moves makes Persian a fun addition to any party.
In the second generation, the fox-like Pokemon, Eevee, gained two new evolutions that seemed rather more cat-like than fox-like. Espeon, a Psychic-type Pokemon that only evolves when its trust of its trainer has hit maximum and then only during the daytime, has a somewhat sphinx-like appearance, though it’s more based on the nekomata or bake-neko, goblin cat of Japanese folklore.
Also evolving from Eevee in the second generation, Umbreon is similar to Espeon in that it only evolves when it’s mood has reached max trust, though it prefers the night (hence “umbra”). Umbreon is a Dark-type Pokemon, the first pure Dark-type ever actually, and looks somewhat like a black cat, though there are indeed some mixture of fox and rabbit in the design. The Egyptian cat-god influence though is undeniable.
One of the three Legendary Beasts, Raikou looks like a tiger. He runs around the land, a mysterious creature with amazing electric abilities.
The lion portion of the Legendary Beasts, Entei is a Fire-type Pokemon that’s apparently either born in volcanoes or can cause volcanoes to erupt with a roar. It’s never quite clear which.
The final member of the Legendary Beasts, Suicune is a Water-type Pokemon that looks like a panther. The three Legendary Beasts were created initially when Brass Tower burned down, killing three Pokemon (it’s not clear their original species). They were resurrected by the Legendary fire bird Ho-oh and now roam around the Johto region.
The third Pokemon generation saw the new addition of another normal-type cat Pokemon, this time called Skitty. It’s hard not to like Skitty as its design is specifically that of a kitten with a poofy tail.
If you took a normal housecat and bred it with a Poodle, you’d probably get a Delcatty. Another Normal-type, evolved from Skitty, Delcatty represents the prissy, show cat image you may think of with designer cat breeds.
Whether Absol was based off of a black cat (it is known as a “Disaster Pokemon”) or a panther or a mountain lion isn’t completely clear, but for being just a regular Pokemon without an evolution, Absol is pretty cool. It has the ability to learn more moves than any non-Legendary Pokemon (78), and is the only non-Psychic-type to learn Psycho Cut from leveling up (it’s a Dark-type, so that’s even stranger).
Based on a lion-cub, Shinx is the first cat-like Pokemon to be part of a three-stage evolutionary line.
The evolution of Shinx, Luxio is an adolescent lion and a darn good Electric-type as well.
The final evolution of Shinx, Luxray looks like a fully-grown lion, or possibly the constellation Leo as it even has a star for a tail. Oddly, while its description mentions its vision is so good that it can see through things, it can’t learn any attacks that would suggest as such, like Foresight.
The fourth generation’s Normal-type cat Pokemon, Glameow is another pretty kitty based on a domestic housecat. Specifically playing up the attitude of the sweet, innocent cat, Glameow is an instant favorite.
And much like real cats when they transition from kittenhood, Purugly is a spiteful, angry-looking cat that’s getting a bit long in the whiskers. Strangely, while Purugly looks thick and heavy, it doesn’t have a very high defense rating but speed is its highest stat.
Bucking the trend for the series’ fifth generation, Purrloin is not a Normal-type Pokemon. Nope, instead it is a Dark-type Pokemon that trainers encounter very early on in the adventure. It’s based simply off a black domestic housecat yet again.
The final cat-like Pokemon, Leipard is the evolution of Purrloin and may be based on the leopard cat, a wildcat that shares traits with both domestic housecats and actual leopards. It’s fast and has some good physical attacks, but more than anything it makes for a good early-stages adition to any trainer’s party.
And there you have it, a handful of Pokemon based on cats. Sometimes it’s just fun to take a look at what our favorite real world pets might look like when they’re put into a fantasy world like this, but really, I’d be perfectly happy with my own kitty any day.
A big thanks to Bulbapedia for the help in research!
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